I am finding an increased intensity in my own A Course In Miracles application lately. Perhaps it is this new bracelet I wear that vibrates quietly on my wrist every hour to remind me to practice my ACIM Workbook lesson. Yes, of course it’s something we sell at the ACIM Store.
Today’s lesson is #101, “God’s Will for me is perfect happiness.” Will I continually choose happiness today? It helps to know that it is the only natural choice to make. The choice for pain and fear is only the result of “feverish imagination,” as the lesson says. It’s up to me to not reinforce this fever.
There has been an interesting discussion on the Miracles On-Line Discussion Group about the correction of error, especially concerning error that appears to be in someone else. I think all A Course In Miracles students would agree that we want to correct the error that we discern in our own minds. The challenge is when the error appears external, usually in a brother or sister, and we don’t see where that particular error exists in ourselves. If true forgiveness entails a recognition that the error is always in us, how can we practice true forgiveness when that just doesn’t feel like the truth. “I don’t do that!” we say. Perhaps we only say that to ourselves, but I find I say it to others frequently too, especially intimates and close relationships. “I don’t think I do that.” “Do I do that?”
Okay, what about the basic premise that we should be correcting error perceived in brothers and sisters at all. Let’s do the right thing first. Let’s see what A Course In Miracles says. “As you share my inability to tolerate lack of love in yourself and others, you must join the Great Crusade to correct it.” (OrEd.Tx.1.31)
Well, that’s very clear. “Lack of love” is the error that needs correction in this command. Not only should we correct these lack of love errors that we perceive in others, we should actually be on a crusade to do it. What definition of “crusade” do we want here? I think a simple one that speaks of a sacred mission will work. We are on a sacred mission to correct all mistakes, both the ones we discern in ourselves and the ones we discern in what appear to be others. In fact, I believe A Course In Miracles is a training manual to prepare us, lead us, on this very mission. How important is this mission?
“Let us not rest content until the world has joined our changed perception. Let us not be satisfied until forgiveness has been made complete. And let us not attempt to change our function. We must save the world. For we who made it must behold it through the eyes of Christ, that what was made to die be restored to Everlasting Life.” (OrEd.WkBk.SpTp241.5)
Okay, it’s all very important. We are not to rest until it is accomplished. What is “it” that needs to be accomplished? The “it” is having everyone in the world see things the way that we do, “... our changed perception.” Why did our perception change? Because the way we saw things before was a lack of love error and now we’ve corrected that. What is our mission in life that we can’t rest until accomplished? Our mission is to get the entire world, every single brother and sister, to also correct all of their errors in perception, all the times they think there is a lack of love.
Terrific! Not! No resting? No Star Trek? No buttered popcorn? No politics shows? No drives down the Pacific sea coast listening to Pink Floyd? No getting naked with consenting adult friends to play, “I’ll make you feel good if you make me feel good?” Boring! Huh ... got to be a way out of this somehow. Let me look at this quotation a little bit closer.
“Let us not rest content ....”
Oh, it doesn’t say “Let us not rest.” It says, “Let us not rest ... content!” The “content” must be the key. I can rest and enjoy some of the fun things of life, but I can’t lull myself into a complacency that tells me that this is it! No matter how good some things feel, no matter how good buttered popcorn tastes – they will never content me. It isn’t that I shouldn’t enjoy them when appropriate. It’s that I need to understand that they are not it. Only getting the entire world to join my changed and corrected erroneous perceptions is it. That’s the “Great Crusade.” That’s it!
“Any attempt you make to correct a brother means that you believe correction by you is possible, and this can only be the arrogance of the ego.” (OrEd.Tx.9.7)
Wonderful! Again – Not! Our sacred mission is to correct ourselves and our brothers and sisters, but whenever we try to correct a brother or sister we will be arrogant and fail. So, we’ve been given a mission. We are not to rest, be content with ourselves, until this sacred mission has been accomplished, but if we try to complete our mission we will be arrogant and fail. Is this when people usually throw the A Course In Miracles book in the trash can?
Am I missing something?
It is a fact that I perceive errors both in myself and others. It is our sacred mission to correct errors. How do we correct errors that we perceive in others? Obviously, we don’t do it by ourselves. We do it with the Holy Spirit’s help. There is technically no difference between perceiving an error in ourselves or perceiving it in another. An error has been discerned. That’s the important thing. A discerned error is turned over to the Holy Spirit. Help is asked for. We ask for new corrected perceptions. We also ask Holy Spirit if there is something specific, perhaps something physical, that we should do. Maybe there are words that will need to be said to certain people. If any of these things are true, we can be confident that we will be told.
“What would You have me do?
Where would You have me go?
What would You have me say, and to whom?” (OrEd.WkBk.71.11)
Ohhhh! – my wrist just vibrated. “God’s Will for me is perfect happiness.”
I am a sacred missionary walking through what appears to be a physical life. I can enjoy the beauty and the pleasure of this life, but I should never delude myself into thinking that these pleasures will, in any way, fulfill and satisfy me. I can never “rest content” here. Only the completion of my sacred mission will fulfill and satisfy me. My mission is to correct the errors that appear in the world. It doesn’t matter where they appear. It doesn’t matter if they appear to be in the inner or the outer because, “... the inner is the cause of the outer.” (OrEd.WkBk.31.2)
If the error is perceived in one of the places, it will be in the other as well. If I see it outside it is also inside. If I discern it inside there will be outer manifestations of it too. I think that makes our mission much easier, don’t you? Rejoice and be glad. The errors are everywhere! We can’t miss them.
There is no correction if I am trying to convince a brother, a sister, or myself that there is an outer error that doesn’t exist in the inner me.
“Teach no one that he is what you would not want to be. Your brother is the mirror in which you will see the image of yourself as long as perception lasts. And perception will last until the Sonship knows itself as whole.” (OrEd.Tx.7.73)
It is an error to not see that we are whole, that we are one child of God. That’s a lack of love. That is a perception that needs to be changed in us and in the world. However, that’s not really a big deal, because if we change it in ourselves it automatically changes it in the world. I remember, “... the inner is the cause of the outer.”
So what about those errors that I see in my brothers and sisters, especially when I don’t see them in myself? What do I need to understand so I can escape from this dilemma?
“The world but demonstrates an ancient truth-you will believe that others do to you exactly what you think you did to them. But once deluded into blaming them, you will not see the cause of what they do because you want the guilt to rest on them. “ (OrEd.Tx.27.9.81)
I don’t think that the errors are in me, only because I want the guilt to rest on them, the “others.” This A Course In Miracles is so damn uncompromising. Where’s the trash can?
Ohhhh! -- my wrist just vibrated again. “God’s Will for me is perfect happiness.” (OrEd.WkBk.101) ♥
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This article appeared in the March 2012 (Vol. 26 No. 1) issue of Miracles Monthly. Miracles Monthly is published by Community Miracles Center in San Francisco, CA. CMC is supported solely by people just like you who: become CMC Supporting Members, Give Donations and Purchase Books and Products through us.